This section will be dedicated to interesting baseball topics. I will post various pages with baseball tips, stories, trivia, and quiz questions.
PROPER HITTING TECHNIQUE
1,2,3 STRIKES YOUíRE OUT! SOUND FAMILIAR? IT DOESNíT HAVE TO BE THAT WAY. BECOME THE POWERFUL HITTER YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BE. REVIEW THESE MAJOR LEAGUE TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR HITTING GAME, AND MAKE THE OPPOSING PITCHING STAFF WISH THEY HAD SIGNED UP FOR BOWLING THIS SUMMER !!
Some of the most successful batters of all time have used unusual stances while getting good results. Carl Yastremski, Rod Carew, and Gene Woodling to name a few in the major leagues. At amateur levels, I suggest using a proper and effective stance. You should be in an athletic position. You can get a good idea of this by standing outside the batter's box, and jumping in. The way you land should be balanced and very athletic, with the knees slightly flexed, and the weight on the balls of your feet, with the toes pointing toward the other batters box. In order to get movement before the swing, you should use rhythm to get a start to your swing. Rhythm is a slight rocking movement forward and backward, toward the pitcher, then toward the backstop. This will help you stay relaxed, and get some momentum going prior to the swing. Remember to "dig in". This is also known as "squishing the bug". The batter should pretend a bug is under his back foot, and squish it. Keep your head level. This allows your eyes to be in a normal viewing position. Your brain cannot calculate bat location when your head is tilted beyond "real world" position.
Keeping your hands inside the flight of the ball on the swing is tremendously important. The hands must come down and forward simultaneously while staying inside the ball. Step with the lead foot while shifting your weight back to front. When hitting the ball, you hit the inside pitch in front of the plate, the middle pitch at the front of the plate, and the outside pitch as it is crossing the plate. When hitting an outside pitch, your back knee should be pointing toward Right Field upon completion of the swing.(Right handed hitter) when hitting an inside pitch, your back knee should be pointing toward Left Center Field upon completion of the swing. (Right handed hitter) When hitting a pitch down the middle, your back knee should be pointing toward Center Field upon completion of the swing. (Right handed hitter). Squishing the bug with your back foot is a very important part of the swing. The hands start the swing, then the lower body interacts (this action is nearly simultaneous). Squishing the bug causes a circular action to be done on the ball of the foot and will turn the back knee toward the pitcher and the shoelaces on the back foot pointing toward the ground. The hands should finish high in the swing with the knob of the bat pointing to the outfield upon completion of the swing. A great way to think about hitting is SHORT to LONG. This means that the arms take a SHORT approach to the ball and after contact take a LONG follow through. A good hitter must take the bat directly to the ball. A lot of hitters cast when swinging the bat. Casting is getting the arms extended prior to contact with the ball. Contact should be made just PRIOR to extension. Your head movement during the swing should be minimal. To practice this, get in your stance with your back to the sun. Find your shadow, and lay your hat down on your head in the shadow. Proceed to take a dry swing. The shadow of your head should still be on the hat when the swing is finished. The bat should be swung level and directly to the ball. After all, the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line.
USE THE SWEET SPOT
I found myself in a slump this season, and decided to make some changes. These changes may help your batting. I found myself making consistently weak contact.
1) I changed my stance. Using my advise, I moved about 6 more inches away from the plate. This put the "fat" part of the bat back in the sweet strike zone. I also found myself making contact out in front of the plate. To correct that, I moved my leading foot about 6" closer to the plate. I now have an exaggerated stance as if I were hitting to the opposite field. This stance forces me to make contact with the ball over the middle to front edge of the plate. Big difference in power. Putting the "fat" part of the bat in the plate power zone delivers big blows.
2) I added a little more distance to my load. I bring the barrel of the bat more behind my shoulder. This gives me a longer swing which is contrary to my short advise above. The end result for me is more bat speed. The #1 swing attribute home run hitters possess is bat speed. By increasing your bat speed, you will drive the ball farther. This works.
3) I increased the speed of my swing with more wrist whip action. I put my wrists more into the swing. This whip action will add speed to your swing. More bat speed = more power = more drive = more distance. When you drive the ball harder, you will become a more confident hitter. That mental feeling will increase your hitting ability that much more.
4) All of the home run hitting major league hitters I observed this summer use a slightly upper cut swing. The hitters get paid to hit home runs. The fans come out to see home runs. In keeping with the major league hitters, I used a slight upper angle swing at the ball through the plate. If you are looking to lift the ball out of the infield, or the park, practice the "home run" swing. Make sure you deliver an aggressive swing and finish with the bat completely pulled around your front shoulder.
Remember; use the "fat" part of the bat. Stand further away from the plate. Cock that bat a little more over your back shoulder. Get the wrist involved with a little more whip. Use a slight upper cut (home run) swing. Lastly, bring some attitude to the plate. Go into the batters box knowing you can produce big hits. If you are successful 30 percent of the time or more, you may someday be in the Baseball Hall of Fame with some of baseball's other 30% greats. Now go hit like the slugger you know you can be!